Constantly evolving in business and always pushing the fashion barometer, MANDANA BISCOTTI, our OCTOBER MUSE is a California beauty who is driven and strong willed. Through this exclusive interview she shares with us, her journey through the entertainment industry and the importance of being a woman of “many hats.” Pay close attention as she shares the perfect workout regimen for getting wedding ready, her upcoming passion projects & her future involvement with Haute Street. This lawyer turned producer never misses a clause!
Tell us a little bit about MANDANA:
I am an academic with a strong cultural barometer. I believe that my love for travel and desire to learn and study different cultures, lent itself to my passion for the fashion world because I believe fashion is a form of art, inspired by travel. When it is done right you can truly revel in it and appreciate it like you can a work of art. I am Persian by nationality but grew up in Southern California. I think my personal style is rooted in classic and timeless but I have a bohemian heart and beachy roots. I grew up on the beach and I feel most at home when i am close to the ocean so I think my fashion is influenced by that but I am constantly evolving.
Tell us about your concentration in law. How did you choose this path and why?
I got into law because I believe having a law degree is of utmost importance in the business world. As an entrepreneur and business woman, having a law degree and license has been very useful. I specialize in contracts and have worked for a variety of large companies in the entertainment industry. I am familiar with every kind of entertainment contract there is and it has been a great asset to have whenever I enter into a business deal. I don't miss a clause!
You are also producing a television show. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
My fiance and I are developing a television show that integrates a lot of fashion. We created the concept, copyrighted it and have a major production company attached. I cannot give full details yet but when it gets picked up for a full season (fingers crossed) I will do complete coverage of it on The Muse Diaries!
Why did you make the move from Law to Fashion and Television?
Well, I haven't officially made the move. I am a woman of many hats. When I was solely in law I was working for larger companies and mostly furthering everyone else's dreams. By stepping out and pursuing ventures in fashion and television I simply decided to further my own. Isn't Lawyer/Executive Producer/ Fashion Editor what every girl strives to be when she grows up?!
CONGRATULATIONS on your wedding! Can you tell us a little bit about your special day? (Where will you tie the knot, who are you wearing, the cake and all the juicy details!)
Thank you! My wedding is just around the corner and I am over the moon to be marrying my boyfriend of seven years, Ben. We are getting married in Palm Beach. Ben is from New York but every spring we spend Easter Holiday with his family at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. It is a special time of year always and when he proposed it was the obvious choice. The details - My ring is Neil Lane, My band is a Tiffanys estate piece from 1943 with star cut diamonds and rubies. I absolutely love it and cannot wait to share pics. My ceremony dress is Monique Lhuillier- inspired by Grace Kelley. My reception dress is Oscar De La Renta- inspired by a Darryl Hannah in mermaid. My after party dress is by Rachel Gilbert, inspired by Carrie Bradshaw's Dior dress in Paris. So much inspiration, such little time! Three dresses may scream diva to some (most) but to me it is covering all fashion bases. Our cake designer is Sylvia Weinstock, who is known to most as the Leonardo Da Vinci of cakes and she is designing us a one of a kind work of art. Sylvia is a lovely woman and a true artist. I cannot wait to see what she designs. As far as aesthetic I believe weddings must always fit the venue first. With that said, my favorite fashion moments in wedding history are Kate Moss and Carolyn Bessette. I have tried to incorporate elements from all the weddings that inspire me but also make them my own- English garden, meets Cumberland Island, meets Nantucket, meets Palm beach. I believe weddings should be whimsical and fun and I hope ours will be just that.
Where is the Honeymoon? Where will you spend your adventure and why did you choose this place?
For the Honeymoon we are heading to Africa because it was the only place that both Ben and I have not been to yet. We are starting our travels in Johannesburg, followed by a few days on a Safari, and then a couple of days in Cape Town. After that we will go to South Africa wine country, and finally do the last portion of our trip on the island of Mauritius. The Honeymoon is great because it incorporates both of our personalities. Ben is much more adventure inclined, and I am happiest reading a book on a white sandy beach so our honeymoon is a bit of both.
What is your current state-of-mind?
Zen. I finished wedding planning a month ago!
We heard that you lived in Italy for some time. Where did you live and what took you there?
I lived in Florence and had the best time. I took a year of Italian when I was in college at UCLA and actually took a summer job teaching English to Italian students from Milan, many of whom I am still in touch with. I have a love affair with all things Italian so it only seems fitting that I am marrying an Italian man. I speak the language but my listening and comprehension are much better. Vorrei prenotare due billeti per andare e ritorno a Paris per favore! Ciao! (I would like 2 roundtrip tickets to Paris please! thanks goodbye!)
What are your favorite fashion take-aways from all of your travels?
Every city has such a different energy and puts me in a different state of mind. I love to travel and get inspiration but I like to prepare/ pack with a little bit of inspiration from my favorite films.
Los Angeles to me is always so laid back, bohemian and beachy
New York is all about runway. Woody Allen in the fall, kitschy or all black.
The Hamptons- simple, Nora Ephron beachy
London- eclectic Bridget Jones
Italy- Dolce and Gabbana, Funny Face, or Talented Mr. Ripley
Paris- chic, sharp menswear, vintage jewelry and Amelie
Palm Beach- Americana Jackie Kennedy Beach
Japan- everything goes
Which destinations are on your travel wish lists?
Thailand to explore some of its famous beaches and do the elephant safari, and Paris. Always Paris.
Best advice that has kept you going & growing?
Never pick an item in fashion or take a job because it pays the most or because the price tag is highest. It can't just be about those things. It has to make you feel good, too. And by the way, if opportunities aren't knocking, you can make your own.
Who is your favorite designer and why?
I have so many so it is hard to say just one. I love the way Isabel Marant captures bohemian free spiritedness and french cool street style. It's raw and natural and fits my aesthetic. On the more conservative end, menswear always has had an influence on me and I owe that in large part to my love for Coco Chanel. My first and fondest fashion memories were watching my mother get dressed in her closet when she was getting ready to go out, and she introduced me to Calvin Klein, Chloe, Yves Saint Laurent, and Oscar de la Renta as a little girl- and all have remained favorites.
What is on your playlist?
Lana Del Rey, Otis Redding, the new Kanye, and classical Italian Opera.
Can you share your workout regimen with us?
Tracy Anderson. I swear by her mat Pilates because I also have a bad back and theres not much else I can do and still get a great workout. She has a studio in LA and the Hamptons which works perfectly for me since we travel so much.
What upcoming projects & involvements can Haute Street viewers look forward to seeing?
My travels, executive producing a few successful TV shows, guest editing a highly successful fashion website, all the while looking impeccably dressed.
Tell us about your "PASSION PROJECT"? Why did you choose THIS cause?
The American Cancer Society. I chose this cause because it is very near to my heart. I lost my mother one year ago to Breast Cancer and I have always felt like we are at the cusp of finding a cure. I am donating to the ACS right before our wedding in honor of my mother's memory and I hope to one be able to start a charity one day in her name with my sisters. Stay tuned The Muse Diaries readers because that charity is my passion project for the future!
What should we ask our next muse?
Who are your top 3 fashion icons excluding Kate Moss. :)